Australia's largest city and home to one of the most iconic sights in Australia-the Sydney Opera House, was also the city we stayed in the longest but we never ran out of things to do.
From walking the length of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to climbing the Sydney Tower Eye we were met by stunning views of the giant harbour and surrounding sights. The botanical gardens, circular quay and darling harbour were very interesting places to visit in their own right, both day and night.
The botanical gardens were huge with lots of different sections dedicated to different plant life with wide sweeping views juxtaposed against almost forest-like scenery with thick tree coverage. There were also plenty of birds, also found all on the east coast including the white ibis and the cockatoo. At night all parks came alive with giant fruit bats which had the typical batman symbol shape.
Circular Quay was right next to downtown Sydney and was where most of the ferries left for different areas of the harbour including Taronga zoo and Manly. On one of the nights Chris and I were lucky enough to be treated to go and see 'Carmen' at the Sydney Opera House, located on Circular Quay. It was the first time we had both seen the opera and we managed to get great seats so it was quite an experience!
Darling harbour had the world's tallest IMAX screen (8 stories high) as well as several museums and the aquarium, wildlife centre and wax museum. The aquarium was amazing and included a lot of sharks and the bizarre dugong. The wildlife centre had only indeginous species which included a 5 metre long half a ton saltwater crocodile called Rex.
Sydney also had a lot of beautiful beaches, most notably Bondi beach just out of the city but there were also several all along the coastline, we managed to see: Bondi, Bronte, Manly main beach, Tamarama and ladies beach. These were just a taster of what Sydney had to offer, by far the best city we had been to for beaches.
We decided to make a day trip to the beautiful Blue Mountains where you can see huge into the distance from atop eucalyptus adorned hills. The mountains get their name because when you look into the distance the the forest appears to fade to blue. This was caused by light rays being diffracted by oils evaporating from the eucalyptus trees. The views from several points were stunning especially of the '3 sisters'.
We also saw the Sydney Olympic park from 2000, which ended up being a disappointing trip as a lot of the park seemed a bit dilapidated and several areas were closed off to visitors at the time so we couldn't even walk around the whole park but it was still nice to see.
Another brief day trip we made was the ferry to Manly where we saw the sea life centre and the feeding of the penguins as well as Manly's stunning main beach that was reminiscent of Byron Bay's. The ferry trip there and back was also interesting as we got to see the jagged coastline in more detail and the sailing ships having races through the harbour.
Being Australia's oldest city and going on a walking tour if the city taught us a lot more about the history side of things for Australia which I previously knew very little about.
Sydney has been a great city to spend our longest time in with so many things to see but being here for so much longer has made me itch to go somewhere new and our next stop is Auckland New Zealand!